Making Essential Oils

All things related to oils and Hydrosols. How to make them and their uses.

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Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:51 pm

Making essential oils:
Essential oils are extracted from the plant in a highly concentrated form. Here are the ways it can be extracted:

Steam Distillation This is the simplest method of extraction. Hot steam/vapor goes through a basket of ground or chopped plants that takes the oils with it. Like the production of alcohol it is then cooled and condensed to a liquid. This is called Hydrosols. The advantage to this method is many environmental toxins and pollutants are not volatile therefor cannot make it into the oil. Having said that pesticides in the plant are not 100% removed.

Frational Distillation In this method the individual components are not separated completely. By proper packing this method of separation can be improved by using a reflux still.

Other methods of making essential oils which I will name but not go into detail as the are not method of distillation:
Cold Pressing
Extraction
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Separating the oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:52 pm

Separating the hydrosol and the oil:
The oil immediately separates from the water as soon as the liquid leaves the condenser. The first step is to seal and store for several weeks in a cool and dark location before separating. Depending on what essential oils you are making some float to the top while others sink to the bottom so how you extract them depends on the oils produced. During the resting period you should not shake the containers but spinning the containers will remove some from the sides and will then climb upward or fall down.

The ways to separate the oils:
Using a syringe
Pipettes
Separators funnel

There are other methods that require special equipment and if you are really into making essential oils it might be worth the investment.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby MDH » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:33 pm

I just use the same copper alembic putting a small amount of water in the alembic and filling it with coarsely crushed material. I do it with lavender, rosemary and spearmint I grow every year because they go into chocolates -- you can only use oils with chocolate as moisture causes them to seize and makes it perishable.
The still is always a translator, but never a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99% of your performance.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:07 pm

We just created a new line item today for Essential Oils. One of the things I want to use the essential oil for is infusing to make absinthe. My wife wants me to make oils from lavender. Should be fun and since we have others interested in making essential oils I thought having one location for posting would be a good idea.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:57 am

Thought I would link to this page on the parent site as I would not recommend the still they show and some of the links are now broken but there is some useful info you can find.
http://homedistiller.org/flavor/oils
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby contrahead » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:49 pm

If your gonna use big new words like alembic and hydrosols then you should explain and describe them when they are introduced, or otherwise have them somewhere in a glossary that is easier to find … These words seemed alien or odd to me, so I had to go look them up elsewhere....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alembic

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/hydrosols

I think a lot of savvy housewives and such would be enthusiastic about collecting essential oils if they only knew how to build a simple stove top “drip still”. One of Euell Gibbons's books [Stalking the Healthful Herbs (c) 1966] has a nice little illustration of such a still, constructed of a tuna fish can, a bowl, a boiler pan and a wok. This from a chapter where he flavored whip cream, pancakes, muffins, omelets, condiments, candies, jams and syrups - from distilled rose pedals.

Below is one of my old illustrations, it is not from Euell's book.
wok_stilla.jpg
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby MDH » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:07 pm

Hydrosol is just the water yielded from it.

Ever see those clear soda that claim to be "naturally flavored"? Such as Dry Soda from Seattle. A lot of people don't believe they're natural because they're clear. They're actually just flavored by the same process - steam distillation.

One thing you can do is use a neutral flavored oil and do the same thing we do with alcohol - put it in a boiler with, say, crushed peaches or pears, then separate out the oil by temperature and filtering after condensation. The oil will taste like peaches as it acts like a carrier to the terpenes, fatty aldehydes etc that give peach its flavor.

Again if you haven't tried it yet bushman I really recommend trying this with chocolate, since the flavor is within an oil it makes the chocolate non perishable. Good holiday gifting material.
Last edited by MDH on Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:19 pm

MDH wrote:Again if you haven't tried it yet bushman I really recommend trying this with chocolate. Since the flavor is within an oil it makes the chocolate non perishable. Good holiday gifting material.

Thanks for the clue!
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby jmashspirits14 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:11 am

Hi, I have a question. I'm thinking about making essential oils but I don't want to build another rig for it. Will making essential oils ruin my liquor setup? Thanks!
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:30 am

It shouldn't as long as it is properly cleaned. It would be similar to using a gin basket using herbs.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:52 am

I'm distilling peppermint leaf (first time collecting essential oils) I'll do a proper post with pics of the rig and jars later tonight.
Thanks
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:06 pm

Made peppermint essential oils today. Very exciting stuff! :D It was my first attempt at making essential oils. I made a small rig for under 30 dollars and a little scrap copper I had around the shop (not counting the separator I bought almost year ago *cheap from china,decent quality*). Here's what she looks like.
7464.jpg
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I made my paste gasket and clamped my bowls together tightly. I attached the loaded column via tri clamp and put the heat to her while I attached the worm bucket and filled with water.

Once she got hot I checked for leaks and watched til she started producing. I'd say the first 25 mins the liquid was clearish (should have taken a picture at this phase, apologies) and I swear I turned my back around and grabbed something and when I looked back it turned urine colored. Surprised the old lady and I. I knew it was supposed to be something other than clear but it took some time before it turned and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous til I saw the color change.
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After awhile I noticed the drip that ran into the separator was beading a lot darker than before, almost reddish brownish color. At first when I'd put a flashlight on it even though it looked dark, the light would reveal golden goodness. But eventually it went dark even with the light on it. I believe the culprit of this is chlorophyll. The oil smelt fine and I still had plenty of water in the boiler so I let her ride. Looked like this,
7473.jpg
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I got nervous about running out of water so I shutdown after another 500ML or so. I collected what you see below. They are in order of collection.
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(Note* After shutdown I ended up having about 450 ML of dark water/oil left in the boiler, so I probably could have let her go a while longer....if the dark color is okay that is)

(If color change is a good thing) Did it take so long to turn color because I packed the column to tight or was I not driving enough steam through the plant material?
Does any of this oil look okay to use?
Did I do anything wrong or could I have done something differently to improve?
All criticism, good or bad is appreciated as always,
Rain
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:34 am

I put the jars in a Rubbermaid container with a lid on it and left it in the garage. Will 0-35 degrees Fahrenheit be too cold for aging? That's typically the temperature range in the garage this time of year.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:38 pm

Can you give a little more detail about your process, did you use water or alcohol? how much peppermint did you use? how did you prepare the peppermint? Where did you get your peppermint? Anything else you want to add!

PS: next time could you make your pictures a little larger, us old folks just don't see as well as we used to.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Bushman :D

I used water. I did not know using ethanol was an option. Is it the preferred method?

I did nothing to prepare it. I simply opened the packaged and poured and packed the column. (Used copper mesh on both ends to hold in the herbs)

I used roughly 150-180 grams of the out of the bag of peppermint.

The supplier I bought the 1LB bag of peppermint from Holistic Herbal Solutions LLC based out of Ohio USA (http://www.holisherbs.com) .says Peppermint Leaf C/S Mentha piperita on label under the company name. Solid black airtight ziplock bag to reduce sun.

rig.jpg
I had a small leak where the worm exited the worm bucket but when I did my vinegar run I think the hot steam heated up the copper therefore heating the sealant and filling the leak. It was a very small/slow drip that I did not experience during the oil run. The sock is no longer needed in the setup lol. The cut can was there in case the oil leaked between collection periods.

gold.jpg
the ridiculously small vile was there for picture purposes only. lol. I realized quick I needed jars.

dark.jpg

jars.jpg


The old lady is getting accustomed to using the oils so I need to figure this out and do a lavender batch as soon as I get a better understanding of what I'm doing. :crazy:

Hope this helped,
And Thanks!
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:52 am

Thanks for the update. Water is probably more common and cheaper. What is your wife using the peppermint for? The information I have for it's use in ailments both Peppermint and Lavender are used for acne, bronchitis, diarrhea, digestive issues, headache, and low blood pressure. Lavender is also used for stress, stomach issues, sleep disorders, Rheumatism, nervousness, menstrual issues, depression, high blood pressure. Peppermint is also used for Bronchitis.
It's also combined with other plants for the production of sauna infusions.
I am guessing there are a lot of other applications as well.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:47 am

Bushman wrote:Thanks for the update. Water is probably more common and cheaper. What is your wife using the peppermint for? The information I have for it's use in ailments both Peppermint and Lavender are used for acne, bronchitis, diarrhea, digestive issues, headache, and low blood pressure. Lavender is also used for stress, stomach issues, sleep disorders, Rheumatism, nervousness, menstrual issues, depression, high blood pressure. Peppermint is also used for Bronchitis.
It's also combined with other plants for the production of sauna infusions.
I am guessing there are a lot of other applications as well.


Thanks,
She's using it to treat our kids sore throats at the moment. But plans on using the oils for the above listed treatments too. Does my oil look normal or did I do something I shouldn't have? Is the color correct and does it require any further seperation? Are dried herbs preferred over fresh? Anything else you can think of that I should be doing?
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:20 am

How are you separating the oil from the water as with the still your using those look like large collections?
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:04 am

Bushman wrote:How are you separating the oil from the water as with the still your using those look like large collections?


The glass oil seperator. I thought it looked like a lot. So is it not separated yet? I was hoping the goldish stuff was the hydrosol and the dark was the oil but like I said I thought it seemed like a lot of oil.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:17 pm

I'm really interested in essential oils. In fact, I was researching how to make honeysuckle essential oil for the wife when I found my way to Home Distiller 8 years ago. I found way cooler things to make, though, when I fell down that particular rabbit hole. :shock: The rest is history.

Anyways, this EO forum is a great start, but there is so little information, and we need to start building the info. So, if you feel like a seperate thread for links would be beneficial, then let's move my post. Otherwise, I came across some cool info regarding "Making Essential Oils". I am curious about getting into it.

http://www.motherearthliving.com/health ... az91djzgoe
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:33 pm

I agree! Maybe more topics, to get this ball rolling? Anybody got anything to add on my seperation and oil color? I'd like to try a lavender run but I'm skeptical on running it until I correct any discrepancies in my processes.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:11 pm

I got Tater to add a separate thread for Essential Oils and did some basic posts to get it started was hoping for more interest. I will try to add more as I get going. Thanks for the interest and I agree with more topics.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:21 pm

Rain distiller, I use a syringe to separate the oil most of the oil floats to the top on some types it sinks to the bottom your mint is a bit dark but most the time you can see the oil.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:03 pm

Bushman wrote:Rain distiller, I use a syringe to separate the oil most of the oil floats to the top on some types it sinks to the bottom your mint is a bit dark but most the time you can see the oil.


What caused it to be so dark? bad material? ran too hot?
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:23 pm

Not sure as I have never done mint but I grow it so when the time to pick it is right I will do a run so we can compare.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:33 pm

It'll be nice to compare some other users oils too.
We need pics guys!!

I'll run some lavender I guess and see what I get out of that. Hopefully I'll see better seperation once put through the glass seperator.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:41 am

Picking the plants at the right season also has an important role on it's yield. Obviously these dates depend on where in the World you live as they would not be the same in Australia. I say this because in a month I will be planting in my community garden so will not have pictures for a while.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:03 am

rain distillate wrote:
Bushman wrote:Rain distiller, I use a syringe to separate the oil most of the oil floats to the top on some types it sinks to the bottom your mint is a bit dark but most the time you can see the oil.


What caused it to be so dark? bad material? ran too hot?


I don't really know what's going on, I mean, it looks like a lot of puking? The video below shows the stream distillation of herbs. It's glass (let's ignore that for a minute - but these are designed stills for this purpose, no alcohol) so you can see what is eventually in her boiler is what looks like what is in your bottles.

18 minutes, but it definitly put proportions into place

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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Bushman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:40 am

I would also guess puking. That is a good video, nice having that separater. The glass container with the small opening would be difficult to clean after the process.
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Re: Making Essential Oils

Postby Rain Distillate » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:37 pm

Bushman wrote:I would also guess puking. That is a good video, nice having that separater. The glass container with the small opening would be difficult to clean after the process.


Eh, Rubbing alcohol and good h2o rinses and it'll be brand new. I guess the small baby bottle cleaners with a little rubbing alcohol for the narrow neck, if there was a buildup of some stubborn leftovers after initial flush that is.
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